Los Patos Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
The figure describes the range of swells directed at Los Patos through an average May, based on 1985 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the shore so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Los Patos, and at Los Patos the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing without direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These happened only 6% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red illustrates the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In either graph, the area of any colour is proportional to how frequently that size swell happens.
The diagram suggests that the dominant swell direction, shown by the longest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is offshore, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Los Patos and away from the coast. We group these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To avoid confusion we don't show these in the rose graph. Because wind determines whether or not waves are clean enough to surf at Los Patos, you can view an alternative image that shows only the swells that were expected to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. In a typical May, swells large enough to cause surfable waves at Los Patos run for about 94% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.